3 things black history month means to a black person in 2016

1. Another month. Honestly. This month is simply another month in the calendar year. As Morgan Freeman bluntly puts it in an interview…

2. A time where although several twitter accounts, articles, and blogs  do an excellent job at spreading remarkable and shocking stories about black history, as well as hash-tagging on a daily basis (not just in October). Even with all of this being done – injustice, racism, discrimination and racial profiling still remains a huge problem today.

 

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3. A month that no longer has to be the only reason to explain to the world why we matter. Despite recent controversy over the hashtag, #BlackLivesMatter has become a movement working to build the black liberation movement, and millions of people (black and non-black) are proudly behind it.

 

With that being said, this month also plays an opportunity to learn more about black men and women that have fought against basic human rights that we were once deprived of.

 

Knowledge is power!

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Did you know?…

  • Black History Month began as “Negro History Week,” which was created in 1926 by Carter G. Woodson, a noted African American historian, scholar, educator, and publisher. It became a month-long celebration in 1976.

 

  • Intersectionality was a term coined by Kimberly Crenshaw expressing the particular problems that immigrant women of color face and, crucially, why their issues were being ignored by both the feminist movement of the time, and the anti-racism movement. This only started happening 30 years ago!

 

  • Before there was Rosa Parks, there was Claudette Colvin. On March 2, 1955, when the fifteen-year-old schoolgirl refused to move to the back of the bus, nine months before Rosa Parks’ stand that launched the Montgomery bus boycott. Claudette had been studying Black leaders like Harriet Tubman in her segregated school,  Booker T. Washington High School.

 

  • Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated on friend Maya Angelou‘s birthday, on April 5, 1968. Angelou stopped celebrating her birthday for years afterward, and sent flowers to King’s widow, Coretta Scott King, for more than 30 years, until Coretta’s death in 2006.

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